Thursday, August 30, 2012

Corn Bread with a Kick

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil
4-5 Thai peppers, chopped (more or less depending on how hot you want it)

Mix all ingredients until well blended and pour into a greased 8 x8 square pan. Bake at 425°F for 20 to 30 minutes (depending on your oven) or until it turns a light golden color and a tester (toothpick, knife, etc.) inserted in the center comes out clean.

*This recipe works well for small loaves and muffins as well. Reduce baking time as needed. :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mango Garden Salsa

2 fresh mangoes, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 small cucumber, peeled, deseeded, and diced
3 medium tomatoes, diced
2 Sugar chilies, diced or minced*
3 Thai peppers, diced or minced*
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs fresh oregano, minced

Mix all ingredients together and chill for at least an hour before serving (if not overnight). The longer the salsa chills, the more the flavors meld together. Simply serve with tortilla chips or add as a side or garnish to chicken or fish. We think it works especially well with salmon and rice. Enjoy!

*Any type of hot pepper will work, I just happened to have an overabundance of Sugar chilies and Thai peppers at the time I created this recipe. I deseed and sometimes devein the peppers to cut back on the heat and also recommend wearing gloves if preparing large quantities.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sazón Rice

2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces and browned*
14 oz canned tomato, diced (or whole and chopped)
2 cups rice, uncooked (I used long grain white but any variety will do)
4 cups chicken broth
1 envelope Sazón seasoning (I use con azafran – with saffron)

In a large pot (or flat bottom wok), sauté onion and pepper in olive oil until transparent (you can use some of the chicken fat in place of the olive oil if you are using the same pot in which you browned the chicken). Add garlic and cook for about a minute more. Add chicken, tomato and uncooked rice. Mix together and let the tomato juices cook down for about a minute. Add chicken broth and Sazón and stir. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn down heat. Simmer for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Serve and enjoy!

*Meat or shrimp work well too.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Tuscan Trial (Similar to Italian Wedding Soup)

1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
16 oz frozen spinach
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 lb ground meat (I used pork in this instance but chicken, turkey, beef, or lamb would certainly work well too)
1 egg
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (approximately – I rarely measure)
1/3 lb Acini di Pepe pasta (this is the tiny round pasta used in Italian Wedding Soup)
salt and pepper to taste (due to dietary concerns we go light on salt)

In a large pot, sauté onion in olive oil until transparent. Add garlic and cook for about a minute more. Add the spinach, chicken broth, and water and bring to a boil. In a separate bowl, combine the ground meat, egg, and breadcrumbs. Roll the meat mixture into small balls and drop meatballs one-by-one into boiling soup. Cover and let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour (especially if using pork). Add pasta and cook until pasta is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

Note: Topping each bowl of soup with Parmesan cheese or red pepper flakes adds a nice dimension too!